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Did Mary Jane Kelly Really Exist?

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  • Anna Morris
    replied
    I look at the box of dresses left in the possession of the French lady in several possible ways.

    Mary could have gone to France from London with the understanding the box would follow but it did not for whatever reason.

    The box could have come back from France with Mary and because it was a box, presumably heavy and requiring help to cart it, it was sent to the French lady's establishment until Mary could send for it. And/or if Mary had no definite place to go she could not schlep a box of dresses around the streets.

    The box was held by the French lady for debt owed by Mary.

    The box was never sent to France because it contained clothing Mary would not need in France. This could be maid's uniforms if Mary thought she would have that kind if job in France. Or perhaps the dresses were OK for the Cardiff dock area but not good enough for London or France.

    A part of this I want to understand is why the French lady would possibly be willing to hold then release the box to Mary? It does not sound like Mary worked out in the West End establishment. Brothels were very hard about making and keeping money and did not shy from bilking girls in their employ. I wonder if the trip to France can be taken at face value, that a "gentleman", a male individual, took Mary to France for a private trip or to try her out as an escort or whatever?

    Is it possible Mary got very drunk or had other negatives so that the "gentleman" said to the French lady, "You don't want this one, show her the door"?

    I think some basics here are that Mary believed the box and dresses were hers. Did she bring them from Cardiff? Did she feel she had earned them in London? Did the "gentleman" buy them for her in France? Were Mary and Mrs. B. able to retrieve the dresses from the French lady?

    (We could also ponder possible connections between the West End gay house and Johannes Morgenstern and Mrs. B. in the East but this reasoning has never seemed to get us anywhere specific. I think it is also possible that the Morgensterns knew the box and dresses existed, perhaps that Mary had not fully earned them and perhaps the box was purchased for less than its value and the contents then sold?)

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  • Wicker Man
    replied
    Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post

    I can imagine how a box of costly dresses would tie MJK in to a high class West End brothel but I wonder how this fits in to her going to France? She seemingly left the clothing in England so why didn't she take it with her? Was it because she knew she would be wearing a special costume or because she knew she wasn't staying? And if she escaped from being trafficked to France, why did she then go to get her clothing back and risk being recognised?
    None of that really adds up.

    Maybe I'm wrong but I took it that Mary left for the East End from the West End, not from France. Any possessions too big to carry would be left in the West End, presumably.

    Here debating the small details without knowing if the big picture is even true

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  • Markus Aurelius Franzoi
    replied
    Originally posted by Anna Morris View Post
    How really needs to add a For What It's Worth section for points that would be barely worth pondering.

    So, for-what-it's-worth, there is or was a Mary Street in Roath. There is or was also a Janet Street in East Moors, wherever that is. I have an idea they were not necessarily close or even in the same town. Property was for sale on Mary Street, and a young accused thief lived at 53 Janet Street, East Moors in the next article down in an 1880s Welsh paper.

    Apparently Janet Street was in Roath. Number 1 Janet Street was in Roath. I wonder how close it was to Mary Street? Janet Street was in the news a lot. Not a good address.
    I agree Anna. This is what it comes to when looking for Welsh Mary Jane Kelly!

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  • Anna Morris
    replied
    How really needs to add a For What It's Worth section for points that would be barely worth pondering.

    So, for-what-it's-worth, there is or was a Mary Street in Roath. There is or was also a Janet Street in East Moors, wherever that is. I have an idea they were not necessarily close or even in the same town. Property was for sale on Mary Street, and a young accused thief lived at 53 Janet Street, East Moors in the next article down in an 1880s Welsh paper.

    Apparently Janet Street was in Roath. Number 1 Janet Street was in Roath. I wonder how close it was to Mary Street? Janet Street was in the news a lot. Not a good address.

    Leave a comment:


  • Anna Morris
    replied
    Originally posted by Debra Arif View Post
    In the circular I mentioned earlier the stories tell of trafficked women having their ordinary clothing locked in a cupboard and them being forced to wear a particular costume that couldn't have been worn outside to stop them running away but there were stories of young girls being rescued by men who took pity on them.

    I can imagine how a box of costly dresses would tie MJK in to a high class West End brothel but I wonder how this fits in to her going to France? She seemingly left the clothing in England so why didn't she take it with her? Was it because she knew she would be wearing a special costume or because she knew she wasn't staying? And if she escaped from being trafficked to France, why did she then go to get her clothing back and risk being recognised?
    None of that really adds up.
    I always bought the idea that Mary travelled with a "gentleman" and she was his escort. I pictured him buying her nice clothes to go out in Paris. I think at the end Mary had a black velvet outfit if the reports of her black velvet jacket are accurate. If so she had a black velvet skirt, bodice and jacket.

    But then we seem to be getting deeper and deeper into organized prostitution and possibly trafficking to the continent. So I wonder if the West End "French lady" was connected to operations in the East End, Limehouse, Pennington Street, etc.? Maybe the dresses ultimately belonged to the organisation and would be put to use in some other branch of the operation.

    It has oft been suggested that Mrs. Buki/Bockie... went with Mary because Mary owed rent and the dresses were payment. But considering Mrs. B.'s connexions to the Morgensterns, perhaps she was retrieving something they owned or claimed. But if so, why did Mary allegedly go with her? Was the French lady part of a bigger group? Or did Mary claim her dresses and did Mrs. B. go along perhaps to speak French and make sure Mary got what was her due?

    If those dresses were made for Mary, a lot of effort went into outfitting her. All those "drapers" in the censuses were in the business of making clothing, usually women's. Draping is quite a science.

    Ultimately Mary seemed to have more freedom than the many other tales we read of girls who were trafficked. So there is the possibility that she did have a gentleman patron who showed her special favor. Maybe Mary's return home put her in bad relations with the West End brothel, thus she ended up in the East End.

    I have wondered if the "gentleman", if he existed as such, may have made peculiar sexual demands and if that was the part and purpose to which she objected? Like maybe the man, once he got to Paris, turned out to be a sadomasochist or something?

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  • Debra Arif
    replied
    Originally posted by Anna Morris View Post
    So much of Mary's story does not quite add up. She went to France with a "gentleman", came back in a couple weeks when she did not like her stay in Paris AND she had a "box of costly dresses."

    Experiences of other girls show them being trafficked, sold, passports confiscated, they get stuck wherever they are and they are not enriched.

    So, was Mary trafficked or did a "gentleman" take her to Paris as a private escort?
    In the circular I mentioned earlier the stories tell of trafficked women having their ordinary clothing locked in a cupboard and them being forced to wear a particular costume that couldn't have been worn outside to stop them running away but there were stories of young girls being rescued by men who took pity on them.

    I can imagine how a box of costly dresses would tie MJK in to a high class West End brothel but I wonder how this fits in to her going to France? She seemingly left the clothing in England so why didn't she take it with her? Was it because she knew she would be wearing a special costume or because she knew she wasn't staying? And if she escaped from being trafficked to France, why did she then go to get her clothing back and risk being recognised?
    None of that really adds up.

    Leave a comment:


  • Robert Linford
    replied
    Well she wasn't setting up a rival organization or peaching on them to the police. Why would they do that to her and risk placing their heads in the Ripper's noose?

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  • Anna Morris
    replied
    Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
    Anna, I'm just wondering if she was a placeur.
    Anything is possible. And then we can wonder about her death, did she cross someone in the underworld? However I think the killer of MJK must have been psychotic. A woman could be killed and her body left as a warning to others without all the details of that particular murder.

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  • Robert Linford
    replied
    She seems definitely to have been involved with the Morgensterns but no idea in what capacity.

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  • Robert Linford
    replied
    I don't know. I've searched such passport applications as are available on FMP and there's no one who stands out.

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
    Actually, I'm just wondering how MJK got back. I think she spent two weeks there? (Barnett) Unless MJK had deformities or whatever, one would have expected the ponces to have taken her passport from her to keep her trapped.
    Would she have needed a passport?

    Leave a comment:


  • Robert Linford
    replied
    Anna, I'm just wondering if she was a placeur.

    Leave a comment:


  • Anna Morris
    replied
    Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
    Actually, I'm just wondering how MJK got back. I think she spent two weeks there? (Barnett) Unless MJK had deformities or whatever, one would have expected the ponces to have taken her passport from her to keep her trapped.
    So much of Mary's story does not quite add up. She went to France with a "gentleman", came back in a couple weeks when she did not like her stay in Paris AND she had a "box of costly dresses."

    Experiences of other girls show them being trafficked, sold, passports confiscated, they get stuck wherever they are and they are not enriched.

    So, was Mary trafficked or did a "gentleman" take her to Paris as a private escort?

    Leave a comment:


  • Robert Linford
    replied
    Actually, I'm just wondering how MJK got back. I think she spent two weeks there? (Barnett) Unless MJK had deformities or whatever, one would have expected the ponces to have taken her passport from her to keep her trapped.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
    It doesn't help much but I'm posting this.


    https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/prin...=t18840915-917
    From what I've read Klyberg took the two girls to Holland the day after he had picked them up. They obtained copies of their older sisters' birth certs, but there's no mention of passports.

    One of the girls was snapped up by the first brothel he approached, but he couldn't offload the other girl, Fanny. She apparently had burn scars on her chest and arms which made her unacceptable, and although Klyberg gradually reduced the price he was asking for her from £12. to just enough to cover his expenses, there were no takers and he had to bring her back to London.

    Leave a comment:

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